Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Has Zeller stabilized his draft stock?
By Luke Lapinski
A week ago at this time, Cody Zeller's NBA draft stock was clearly slipping. Once the potential No. 1 overall selection, Indiana's highly skilled big man had dropped to No. 7 on Chad Ford's big board following a pair of very sub-par efforts against Penn State (2 points) and Michigan State (9 points). Both games resulted in wins for the Hoosiers but, given the monumental expectations that Zeller's career had generated up to that point, they were uncharacteristic enough to at least raise some eyebrows.
In the two games since, he's responded in a big way. First, he delivered a double-double (19 points, 11 rebounds) in a 97-60 victory at Purdue. Then he followed that up with another double-double (19 points, 10 rebounds) in Indiana's pivotal victory over top-seeded Michigan on Saturday. Now the Hoosiers are back atop the polls, and Zeller is a major reason why.
So what has this done for the sophomore's draft stock? If nothing else, it has stopped the fall. Ford still has him at No. 7, but that's partly because the six players in front of Zeller have been quite impressive this season. And the fact that he stepped up in a big way against an elite team like the Wolverines has to resonate with NBA scouts.